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TEAM NEWS: Wenger Gives Update On Gibbs, Sagna & Monreal
The Arsenal squad have flown out to Turkey this afternoon in preparation for tomorrow’s Champions League first leg clash against Fenerbache and we’ve had some positive injury news ahead of the game.
The Aston Villa defeat was a bruising affair and we came away from the match with a few knocks. At one point on Sunday it looked as though we might struggle to find 11 fit senior players to face Fenerbache, but the boss has eased those fears this afternoon.
Speaking to the clubs official website Wenger confirmed that the only definite absentee from the squad that faced Villa was Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, with the midfielder set to be out “for a while” with a knee problem. Media reports suggest it could be up to six months, which is a huge blow.
However, there is better news on Kieran Gibbs and Bacary Sagna with Wenger confirming the duo are on the plane and will face late tests. He sounds confident Gibbs will overcome a cut above the eye that forced him off on Saturday, while Sagna was lucky not to break his neck after landing awkwardly in the final minutes.
There is also good news in that Nacho Monreal is back in contention after missing pre-season with a back problem. I’m sure he’s just there to make up the numbers as he can’t be fit enough to start.
Arsene also confirmed that all other players are available, meaning that Aaron Ramsey, Theo Walcott and Jack Wilshere are all passed fit despite fears they could miss out after picking up knocks at the weekend.
Here’s what the boss told Arsenal.com:
on the team news…
The difference from Saturday is that Oxlade-Chamberlain is out for a while with a knee problem. Everybody else should make it. There’s a final decision [on Wednesday] but Sagna and Gibbs should be available.
on if Gibbs playing with a plaster on his head…
You get touched there once out of thousand. It’s just a cut. Nacho Monreal is back and will travel.
So it’s a far stronger looking squad than I thought it would be on Sunday and certainly one that’s capable of beating Fenerbache. But it was also capable of beating Aston Villa so we can’t take anything for granted.
I’ll post my predicted line-up later, till then…..